After our tasting in Jacksonville we ordered up pints of the beers that fit our taste the best, mine being Shotgun Shack Black Rye, and hers’ being Golden Spiral. Belgian yeasts have been speaking to us during the first half of the trip, though the “standard” Belgian styles have been few and far between with the majority of brews being a take on the classics. Golden Spiral was a different story, a faithful interpretation of a solid golden ale with a minimum of twists and turns – just straight ahead Belgian goodness that delivers.
The beer pours with a thin head atop a hazy golden pint, malty and sweet esters floating up through the lattice. An immediate yeasty smell is carried up by strong carbonation, clove and banana mixed with a mild bitter scent of hop oils. The first taste is a sweet one, and subsequent sips give way to more spicy and generally Belgian notes – the carbonation seems to give each flavor its own vehicle as the bubbles burst quickly as it pours over my tongue. For a somewhat more alcoholic brew the beer is wonderfully quaffable, two or three pints would be within reason, but it’s certainly more fun to bounce between brews. The mild bitterness and straight ahead sweetness of malt form a perfect background to let the fruity Belgian esters shine, and in our time in Florida we didn’t find any comparable Belgian beers brewed locally.
If you’re in JAX and you’re looking for a wide berth of solid brew offerings you have to hit Intuition and sit down with a taster – their standard offerings are good, but their long list of seasonal and specialty brews truly sets them apart.